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Monday, March 21, 2011

Meet TED

Living on another planet as an expat for the last 20+ years, I miss out on a lot of things, or find out about them late in the game. TED is one. Only recently have I been introduced to TED, and in so doing have discovered a wonderfully thought-provoking new source for ideas and insights. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design, and is a nonprofit created to share "ideas worth spreading", originally in these areas. It has since expanded its scope and now covers Business, Science, Culture, Arts, as well as Global Issues. Their byline is "Riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world"; the talks are from presentations made at their annual conferences where "the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes or less)."

On their website you can choose a theme from a long list and then find talks arranged by title and speaker. One theme that caught my eye was "Design Like You Give a Damn", featuring talks by such notables as Dean Kamen (Segway creator), William McDonough (author of 'Cradle to Cradle'), Marian Bantjes (graphic designer), and Paola Antonelli (design curator at MoMA), plus lots of others I didn't know of. Another theme that piqued my interest was "Food Matters" featuring some usual suspects such as Jamie Oliver on kids' lunches, Mark Bittman (minimalist chef), Michael Pollan (organic growing), as well as the intellectually peripatetic Malcolm Gladwell ('The Tipping Point'). There are themes for and about women; themes devoted to happiness, evolution, medicine, comedy, war and peace, poverty, and storytelling, to mention but a few- lots of brain nutrition, humor, and even some live music.

On www.ted.com be prepared to spend many mind-opening hours exploring this site, if you're like me and still curious after all these years.

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